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Sod house built in 1881…

[Detail] Sylvester Rawding family in front of sod house

Lesson Overview

Why did Germans immigrate to the Upper Midwest in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century? What contributions did they make to the region's cultural heritage? Students use American Memory photographs and documents to answer these questions and others while strengthening their German language skills.


Students will be able to:

  • gain an understanding of how contemporary lifestyles/cultures/traditions are influenced by the contributions of the settlers of that region; and
  • use their prior knowledge of German to discuss photographs of people.


Time Required

Two weeks

Recommended Grade Level

  • 6-8
  • 3-5


  • Immigration & Ethnic Heritage


  • Rise of Industrial America, 1876-1900


Mary Alice Anderson and Kim Pernod